Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Art of Extreme Self-care Chapter 7

Hello and welcome to The Art of Extreme Self-care postpartum style. For those of you who are new to my blog, last December I announced I would be doing a read-a-long of The Art of Extreme Self-care by Cheryl Richardson and sharing with you how I applied the principles of the book in a postpartum setting.  We will be focusing on one chapter a month and while I try to post the first Monday of the month, that doesn't always happen, like today... Last chapter was about the absolute no list. Let's dive into chapter 7. (Can you believe we're on chapter 7 already?)

Overview: Creating a soul-nurturing environment

What I got out of it: Well, let's just say this has been an on going issue in my house. First of all we live in a small 850 sqft condo with limited storage. Secondly, both my husband and I have lots of hobbies that require stuff. Thirdly, we expanded our household and I'm amazed how much stuff come with babies! These are not excuses, but challenges I encounter every day.

When I first read this chapter, I was going through a very low point during the postpartum period. Our neighbors had dropped off two ginormous bags of clothes and lots of baby gear fit for a girl since they were moving. Our closets were overflowing with baby stuff others had given us and every corner of the apartment was crammed with baby things like stroller, pack n' play, high chair, swing, car seats, etc... I didn't say no to anything anyone wanted to give me because I didn't know if I'd need the item or not.

Well, it turns out I didn't need half of the stuff I received. That's when I realized I needed to clean house. Bags and bags of baby stuff and maternity clothes went to a women's shelter near my house. What could be recycled got recycled and everything else into the garbage they went. I cleared out so much space and my mood actually improved. One of the biggest benefits to investing in a soul-nurturing space is the peace and lightness that fills the mind. Now I had room to create or just be. That's when I started writing Urban Goddess Mama.

Seven plus months later, I'm writing this blog post and take a look around my home. I'm going to be honest with you, things aren't looking as nice as I would like. Because I prefer to walk the talk, I  decided to do Cheryl's 4-step process with the living/dining/kitchen area:

1. Examine: Too much clutter on the counter, kitchen table, & bar between the living room & kitchen. Too many toys in Boo Creature's corner- makes for longer clean-up in the evening. Dirty windows, sill, and baseboards. Dried cat puke behind the cat tree.

2. Evaluate (what needs to be done): Boxes near the China hutch that need to be taken to recycling. Receipts on counter that need to be either recycled or filed in tax folder. Sort through toys & board books in Boo Creature's corner. Take recycling food containers off counter.

3. Eliminate: Took all the recycling out. Donated the toys and books Boo Creature no longer uses. Cleaned out food storage container cupboard and recycled all the containers or lids that I no longer used or are missing the counterpart. Cleaned windows, baseboards, & sills. Vacuumed cat tree and cleaned puke up. Recycled or filed receipts. Got rid of junk mail on kitchen table. Swept & mopped floors.

4. Enhance: Placed candle on clutter-free bar. Bought fresh organic fruit for the fruit basket on kitchen table. Saged the whole house.

The above process took less than 60 minutes (minus the donating toys & buying fruit part). As you can see, it doesn't take much time to transform your space into a soul-nurturing space that brings harmony and peace to your home.

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